“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” — Henry David Thoreau
Reinheitsgebot be damned! One of the beer styles that has been picking up steam over the last few years has been Pumpkin Ale. This autumn is the first time I’ve ever sampled a commercial pumpkin ale and it was actually under the recommendation of a friend of mine. The beer in question is Schlafly (+1 internets if you can teach me how that’s actually pronounced) Pumpkin Ale. The first thing I noticed about this beer was that they actually use pumpkin in the beer. A disappointing realization I came to earlier this year was that most “pumpkin” beer doesn’t actually contain any pumpkin, just the spices that make you think of pumpkin.
After the beer is in the glass, you can just tell it’s a pumpkin ale. It has this luscious, orange-hued brown color that makes me think I see the toothy grin of a jack-o-lantern in the glass.
I was a little wary after I smelled this beer, the smell of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg cut through the beer and was almost overwhelming. I was afraid that the flavor would be cloyingly sweet and taste more like a soda than a beer.
I’m relieved to say I was wrong. Initially it’s sweet, and you can definitely taste the pumpkin and spices, but it doesn’t last. It’s a full bodied, viscuous beer but without feeling too heavy. The finish is dry enough to balance out the initial sweetness, making for a well rounded beer.
Overall, I really like this beer. I’ll happily pick up a six-pack if I see it, though this stuff sells like hotcakes so it’s pretty rare to find one in the wild. This is a complex enough beer that I can only drink 1 or 2 before I need to change it up, but still a very delicious drink. On a 100-point scale, I give it 98 points.